2019 – 2020 CoCA Contemporary Ceramics Subject Specialist Network Symposia

Funded by Arts Council England

Sustaining the Studio – Sustaining Self
2-3 April 2020
10:30 to 15:45

The next symposia has been developed in partnership with and will be hosted and delivered by:

Porthmeor Studios
Back Road West
St. Ives
TR26 1NG

This symposium will examine the sustainable pottery studio and how pottery participation through studio and outreach work sustains individual and community wellbeing. It will be followed by a programme of visits to St Ives cultural venues on day two.

The event is a partnership between Leach Pottery and the Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) Subject Specialist Network at York Art Gallery.

Please note:

The Leach Pottery is supporting action to slow the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and is following the latest advice and guidance from Public Health England and the NHS. Our priority is the health and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers, visitors, supporters and our wider community. As such, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the ‘Sustaining the Studio – Sustaining Self’ Symposium, due to take place on the 2-3 April 2020 at Porthmeor Studios.

The Symposium is supported by Arts Council England and developed in collaboration with the Contemporary Studio Ceramics Subject Specialist Network (SSN) run by the Centre of Ceramic Art at York Art Gallery. We and the SSN are closely monitoring the situation and hope to reschedule the Symposium at a more suitable date in future. We will contact you with any further information once we have a clearer understanding in the coming months.

In the meantime, we hope to start the conversation digitally, so please look out for further communication from the Leach Pottery.

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your understanding and support at this difficult time. We look forward to welcoming you to events in the future.

With very best wishes,

Libby Buckley, Director.


The Curator’s Challenge – Reinterpreting and Re-imagining Ceramic Collections
Thursday, 30 January 2020
12:00 to 16:30

The programme has been developed in partnership with and will be hosted and delivered by:

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Chamberlain Square
B3 3DH

The symposium will explore the challenges and opportunities in rethinking approaches to displaying ceramics in museum collections.

Many museum collections hold a wide range of ceramic pieces from the contemporary, to ancient antiquities. This second Centre of Ceramic Art symposium, will question how we can use these collections innovatively, to tell different stories and inspire us. Re-considered displays enable museums to engage with audiences in new and different ways, and working with contemporary artists and makers to both interrogate collections and use them to inspire their own practice opens-up new, exciting and challenging perspectives.


Restating Clay Symposium: Ceramic Communities
25th September 2019
9.00am – 4.30pm

The programme has been developed in partnership with and will be hosted and delivered by:

National Centre for Ceramics Study, Wales
Wales Cardiff School of Art & Design
Cardiff Metropolitan University
Llandaff Campus

This symposium aimed to reframe and promote the social vernacular of clay, from innovative interventionist approaches raising political awareness of our physical and social environment, to the power of the collective conscience encouraged through more familiar events such such as residencies, festivals, co-operative studios. Each example offers a variant model that utilises the materials social appetite. This interest in the materials sociability has arrived at an opportune time, promoting not only a rich well of potential ideas but more importantly, a more responsive, synergetic practice between art and life that could inform its sustainability.

View the report from the event here!